Trump’s Warning to Republicans: “Don’t Fake the endorsement, if you don’t have it!”
As the 2022 Republican primary season slowly begins, many would-be candidates vying for recognition have started to characterize themselves as “Trump approved.”
But they may be jumping the gun — and there definitely will be consequences.
Trump spokesman Jason Miller told Politico that former President Trump and his team were insistent: “Don’t fake the endorsement if you don’t have it!”
As a recent example, Pennsylvania state Senator Doug Mastriano, testing the waters for a run for Pennsylvania governor, implied that Trump “asked” him to run.
Miller, a senior advisor to Trump, quickly clarified. Using his Twitter account, Miller stated emphatically that “President Trump has not made any endorsement or commitments yet in this race.”
President Trump has not made any endorsement or commitments yet in this race.👇
“AP Report: President Trump Picks Pennsylvania’s Next Governor” https://t.co/24rY2G2BD1
— Jason Miller (@JasonMillerinDC) May 20, 2021
Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski candidly explained, “Lots of candidates pretend to have the support of President Trump. Most are full of sh*t.” He cautioned, “You will know when President Trump endorses someone.”
With most races expected to be highly competitive, the need to be “Trump Approved” is almost mandatory. In the United States Senate alone, there are 34 seats up for grabs in the 2022 election.
The former president’s political brand is powerful. Many candidates could not be competitive without his support. Also, Trump’s endorsement is one of the primary means he uses to maintain relevance leading up to the 2022 election cycle.
Because of its power, there are a growing number of fake declarations of Trump’s support.
“President Trump or his people are going to find out about it quickly, and correct the record,” Tony Fabrizio, a former pollster, said.
And just as important, it is increasingly apparent that a vocal anti-endorsement from Trump could damage or even end a candidate’s chances at victory.
A would-be candidate who has recently run afoul of the Trump endorsement apparatus is Lynda Blanchard, Trump’s former ambassador to Slovenia. Blanchard opened her Alabama state representative campaign with misleading implications of support from the former president. However, Trump quickly approved her opponent, Rep. Mo Brooks.
Another negative result is a former WWE wrestler running for Texas special congressional election TX-06. Dan Rodimer erroneously described himself as “the Trump candidate” – a claim vehemently disputed by Trump’s campaign manager. Trump ultimately supported Susan Wright, a widow to Rep. Ron Wright. Nevertheless, Rodimer’s campaign website quotes Trump, describing “Dan Rodimer: A special guy and a real champion.” Rodimer lost to Wright in the May 1st special election.
As a forwarning to all Republican candidates, former Pennsylvania GOP chairman Rob Gleason said, “I would warn people against claiming endorsements from anyone without authorization.” And, he continued, “When and if President Trump endorses anyone, it will be very unmistakable.”
Amid the quest for Republicans to regain seats and political control, Trump aides believe that more mischaracterizations are inevitable – affirming Trump’s continued and powerful influence on GOP politics.
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